How to go from the sacred valley to rainbow mountain

Find out how to go from the sacred Valley to rainbow mountain in your next trip to Cusco. Do not miss out on having the most incredible experience in the sacred lands of the Incas.

traveling to cusco

It’s fascinating all that we can find in Cusco, a place full of tourist attractions both cultural and natural. Beautiful landscapes along with historical monuments that tell a different story. Without a doubt, this imperial kingdom is a very popular destination nowadays, and one of the most favorite ones in South America.

Among the most well-known attractions in Cusco, we can find the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the Rainbow Mountain. There is no way people can miss out visiting these places as their beautiful scenery and particular features enchant everyone who visits them. Not to mention, the great cultural and natural value they have; offering one of a kind experience to all their visitors.

Now, when traveling through these lands, we as travelers sometimes would like to optimize our time as it may not be enough to visit everything we have planned. Please join us, and discover how you can go from Sacred Valley to Rainbow Mountain easily and effectively.

cusco path to the sacred valley

Sacred Valley

This region is mainly enclosed between the towns of Pisac and Ollantaytambo, northwest of Cusco has been called “The Sacred Valley of the Incas”, along with the Vilcanota River which later changed its name to Urubamba. Since pre-Hispanic times, it became an appropriate place for the foundation of the towns, being the Incas who took better advantage of the beauty of this land.

Numerous buildings in stone urban centers, palaces, forts, temples, religious centers, sanctuaries, and places of ritual transcendence typical of the Andean mysticism were raised in this area. Such tremendous cultural value formed within this territory allows visitors to learn and understand the Incas cosmovision. Making it a singular attraction, not to say the favorite among people who visit Cusco.

Some of the most outstanding sites include:

sacred valley cusco peru

Rainbow Mountain

This mountain has established itself as one of the great tourist attractions of Peru by receiving about 1,500 visitors every day in high season. To reach Vinicunca, located at 5,200 meters above sea level, it is necessary to take a demanding hike over the Andes from the town of Chillca, about three hours by car from the city of Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire.

Thanks to the effect of the oxidation of the high concentration of metals it contains. This unique scenery has striking colors in turquoise, gold, and fuchsia stripes, among others. It’s the perfect spot to capture beautiful photos.

rainbow mountain cusco

How to get to Rainbow Mountain from the Sacred Valley?

As you may have noticed, the sacred valley covers a very extensive area. First of all, be prepared and informed, remember that to enter any site you must have your tourist ticket in your hands. You can get it in Cusco city or at any archeological site at the entrance (recommended to bring cash). For entering Rainbow Mountain the dynamic will be the same.

sacred valley trek cusco

Tour operators

Unfortunately, these two destinations are in opposite poles so it will be almost impossible to visit them in one single day. The most recommendable is to start with the Sacred Valley since it does not involve much physical effort compared to the rainbow mountain trek. Several tour operators take you on a full-day tour to the Valley including transport, guiding, and entrance tickets.

On the other side, rainbow mountain tours start very early in the morning (around 3.00 am). This is due to the 4-hour ride it takes to get to Chillca to later start a trek up to the top of the mountain. As we mentioned, the journey it’s quite challenging since the altitude will be the highest you will experience during your visit to Cusco.

tour to sacred valleycusco

Staying at the Sacred Valley

Tourism has developed so fast that the number of services offered can be exorbitant. This is the case of the Sacred Valley where you will have the chance to spend the night in these lands. Bear in mind that prices could be somehow expensive as this is an exclusive area, however, there is no such thing as staying here and wake up with an amazing view of the valley.

Usually, these hotels include their own tour service to the valley making the journey way more fun. If you are the type of person who enjoys a deep contact with nature, this is definitely the best choice. Also, their services include trips to the rainbow mountain.

staying at the sacred valley

A quick tip: There are some tour operators that include pickups from your hotel in the Sacred Valley. Most of the time, the tour ends in Cusco city so be aware of that.

Private transport

There are always people that prefer going at their own pace and rent a car to get a more calm trip. This is actually a good idea, however, we do not recommend doing this on the first visit. This is because you don’t know the route and anything could happen on the way. To avoid all these altercations the best thing to do in this case would be to go with a local expert or tour operator.

In case you decide to go on your own, the sacred valley includes a fixed route. There are paths laid out to reach each attraction making the journey easier to follow. On the other hand, to reach the rainbow mountain the access is not so easy. This is due to the fact that there is no direct route that takes you to the entrance.

cusco drive to the sacred valley

Note: The best way to get from the sacred valley to the rainbow mountain is to start from Pisaq, which is the closest point to the mountain.